Several killed in fresh protests; Myanmar 'shadow' parliament urges united opposition to coup

WION Web Team
Yangon, Myanmar Published: Mar 14, 2021, 02:53 PM(IST)

File photo Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

On Sunday -- as anti-coup protests neared its seventh week under military rule -- a group of MPs in hiding urged a united opposition to move with "invincibility" to overcome the nation's "darkest moment".

Myanmar security forces opened fire on anti-coup protesters in the commercial capital Yangon on Sunday, and at least three people were killed. Two people were killed elsewhere in the Southeast Asian nation.

A young man was shot and killed in the town of Bago, near Yangon. The Kachin Wave outlet said another protester was killed in the town of Hpakant, in the jade mining area in the northeast.

One report said two factories in the district had been set on fire.

On Sunday -- as anti-coup protests neared its seventh week under military rule -- a group of MPs in hiding urged a united opposition to move with "invincibility" to overcome the nation's "darkest moment".

The country has been in turmoil since the military ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi from power in a February 1 putsch, triggering a mass uprising that has seen hundreds of thousands protest daily for a return to democracy. 

The junta has repeatedly justified its power grab by alleging widespread electoral fraud in November's elections, which Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party had swept in a landslide.

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More than 80 people had been killed as of Saturday in widespread protests against the military's seizure of power last month, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners advocacy group said. Over 2,100 people have been arrested, it said.

In response, a group of elected MPs, many of whom are in hiding, had formed a shadow "parliament" called the Committee for Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) -- the Burmese word for the country's governing bloc -- to denounce the military regime. 

At least 13 people were killed on Saturday, one of the bloodiest days since the February 1 coup.

Mahn Win Khaing Than, who is on the run along with most senior officials from the ruling National League for Democracy Party, addressed the public via Facebook on Saturday, saying, "This is the darkest moment of the nation and the moment that the dawn is close."

He said the civilian government would "attempt to legislate the required laws so that the people have the right to defend themselves" against the military crackdown.

The Monywa township in central Myanmar declared it had formed its own local government and police force.

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The politician, a high-ranking NLD politician who served as speaker of the house during Suu Kyi's previous administration, had been placed under house arrest during the February 1 power grab, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners monitoring group. 

In Yangon, hundreds of people demonstrated in different parts of the city after putting up barricades of barbed wire and sandbags to block security forces. In one area, people staged a sit-in protest under sheets of tarpaulin rigged up to protect them from the harsh midday sun. "We need justice," they chanted.

(with inputs from agencies)

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